The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu! As you put together your grocery list and figure out what delicious foods to make, don’t forget about how you’ll serve it all. The right Thanksgiving serving dishes can really level up your holiday spread from basic to beautiful.
In this article, I’ll share plenty of gorgeous serving dish ideas to inspire your Thanksgiving tablescape. From stunning turkeys to bountiful bowls of side dishes, read on for ways to present your food in style. Let’s get started!
The turkey is the star of the show on Thanksgiving. Finding a serving dish that really shows off your perfectly cooked bird is key.
A classic, elegant way to present the turkey is on a decorative porcelain, silver, or crystal platter. Look for one big enough to easily hold the entire bird. I love how the turkey looks on a plain white platter—it really lets the beautiful bronzed bird take center stage.
For a bit of fall flair, a platter with autumn leaves or acorn motifs along the edges would pair nicely with the turkey. Anything in rich shades of brown, rust, or cream helps complement and offset the turkey.
Don’t be afraid to add some height with a turkey stand or rack. Lifting the turkey off the table gives it a grand appearance for carving. A sturdy wire stand with scrolled edges is one option. Or go for a more decorative cast iron or wood stand to match your table decor.
No platter? No problem! You can serve the turkey right on a cutting board. Look for one made of thick, high-quality wood. Arrange some rosemary sprigs or sage leaves around the turkey to dress it up.
When it comes to cut turkey, a tiered stand is both practical for serving multiple slices and adds visual interest. The stacked levels almost resemble a miniature turkey!
All those delicious Thanksgiving side dishes need a place to be served up. Rethink basic bowls and serving spoons with these creative ideas for your holiday spread.
For vegetables like roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans, or glazed carrots, serve family-style in colorful, artisan-crafted pottery bowls. The textures and natural shapes make vegetables feel a little more special than placing them in everyday mixing bowls.
Mashed potatoes are a must for most Thanksgiving diners. Serve them up in style in a beautiful glass or crystal bowl. Top with chopped chives or fried onions for garnish. For even more flair, think about serving mashes sweet potatoes in a hollowed out mini pumpkin!
Moving on to stuffing and dressing…these turkey day staples need a proper presentation. Consider individual rattan or bamboo baskets for single-serving portions. They’ll keep the stuffing contained yet looking cute. Or opt for a rustic clay baking dish placed right on the table for that fresh out of the oven appeal.
Cranberries beg to be served out of something festive for the holidays. Clear glass candelabra-style servers maintain visibility of the ruby red cranberries. Or for fun, pile fresh cranberries in hollowed out orange halves.
For soups and stews, try shallow bowls and mugs for easier serving and dining. Look for earthy glazed ceramic ware or hand carved wood details. They’ll hold generous ladleful’s while keeping the focus on the beautiful broth.
Breads & Rolls
You can’t forget the breads and rolls that sop up all those tasty Thanksgiving gravies and sauces. Plans lots of baskets, napkins, and boards for serving up these tasty carbs.
Small bread rolls can be artfully arranged in lined baskets, bowls, or even colanders! Linen napkins in fall colors like mustard, cranberry, or sage add color and style.
Pull apart yeast rolls are best served up high on a pedestal cake stand or tiered server. The height adds visual appeal and lets the bread rolls take center stage.
For sliced breads, look for a rustic cutting board or slab of wood. Prop it up on wood risers for a pretty way to display a loaf of fresh bread among the other dishes.
Hollowed out pumpkins make for an awesome seasonal serving piece for rolls and bread. Line one with a napkin to soak up excess moisture. Then pile it high with all kinds of delicious breads and biscuits.
We can’t forget about dessert! Part of the fun of Thanksgiving is ending the meal with something sweet. Serve up your cakes, pies, and other treats in style with these creative serving ideas.
Pies might just be the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. The classic way to serve them is right out of the tin on a wooden cake stand or acrylic pedestal. Add pie servers in seasonal shapes like maple leaves.
For more formal flair, try plating pie slices on pretty porcelain dessert plates. Top with fresh whipped cream and berries for a picture-perfect presentation.
Homey cobblers and crisps feel right at home served family style in timeless ceramic baking dishes placed right out on the table. They just say autumn!
You can’t go wrong with a delicious homemade or store bought pound cake on Thanksgiving. Display whole cakes on glass cake pedestals or stands for a decorative touch.
For smaller bite-sized desserts, use tiered platters, three-tiered cake stands, or multiple cake pedestals together. They keep tempting treats at eye level and within reach of guests.
Choose Pieces With Purpose
As you pick out your Thanksgiving serving dishes, keep these tips in mind:
- Mix and match both formal and informal styles for visual interest
- Include varying heights like pedestals, cake stands, and risers for dimension
- Vary materials such as wood, ceramic, glass, and silver
- Add autumn touches like warm colors, leaves, trees, and gourds
- Make sure pieces are sturdy, high-quality, and big enough for generous portions
- Skip overly kitschy and cheap plastic pieces—save those for summer BBQs!
- Place serving dishes intermittently down the table, not all clumped at one end
Want to get creative? You can easily DIY some beautiful Thanksgiving serving pieces. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
Wooden Boards: Stain or paint plain wooden cutting boards in fall hues. Use wood screws to affix cork feet to one side so they can double as risers.
Terra Cotta Pots: Give basic clay pots a quick makeover by painting them in creamy off-whites, beiges, and browls. Seal with a glaze then nestle smaller pots inside as pedestals.
Tin Cans: Clean and peel the labels off tin cans from food items like tomatoes or coffee. Spray paint them bronze, pewter, or silver for an instant vase, container, or candle holder.
Colored Glassware: Buy some cheap glass vases, bowls, and cups from a craft store. Use glass paint to etch fun painted designs like leaves, trees, or family names. Seal well before using.
Go For the Gold
For a truly eye-catching Thanksgiving table, consider incorporating metallics for next-level shine and sparkle. Here are some golden ideas:
- A brass, silver, or gold platter makes the ideal reflective surface for the turkey
- Metallic charger plates instantly glam up place settings
- Hammered metal bowls add texture and dazzle when filled with sides
- Bars of gold chocolate make a decadent after dinner treat
- Light the table with a mix of mercury glass votives and gilded candlesticks
- Scatter small gold pumpkins or acorns for a touch of festive sparkle
- Serve wine or water in an antiqued silver punch bowl with matching cups
Give Thanks in Style
The holidays are all about celebrating with family and friends and enjoying delicious food. By putting just a little extra thought into your Thanksgiving serving dishes, you can really elevate your entire tablescape.
Use a mix of natural materials, autumn colors, and plenty of candles for an Instagram-worthy setup. Thanksgiving table runners: A warm embrace of autumn hues, don’t be afraid to add height, dimension, and metallic touches too. Most importantly, pick pieces that you love to use year after year. I hope these ideas help inspire your gorgeous Thanksgiving table this year, creating a festive ambiance that invites a heartfelt celebration of the season’s bounty. Happy feasting!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good Thanksgiving serving dish materials?
Some top materials for serving dishes are porcelain, ceramic, glass, wood, silver, and brass. Look for high quality materials that feel substantial and luxe.
Should I buy new dishes or use what I already own?
A mix of both is ideal! Use your nicest existing serving platters and bowls, then purchase a few special new pieces each year to gradually build your collection. Checks thrift and antique stores for unique vintage finds too!
What are simple ideas for DIY Thanksgiving dishes?
Some easy DIY ideas are stenciling designs onto plain glassware, painting and distressing wood boards, transforming tin cans into vases, and turning clay pots into pedestals. Use paint, glue, and basic craft supplies to transform flea market finds.
How do I arrange Thanksgiving dishes on the table?
intersperse dishes down the center of the table rather than clustering at one end. Mix up heights, textures, sizes, and colors. Make sure food remains visible by keeping some dishes clear or transparent. Angle dishes to face different directions for dimension.
What are creative ways to serve Thanksgiving pies and desserts?
Display whole pies on vintage cake stands and glass pedestals. Plate individual slices on ornamental dessert plates. Pile cookies and bites onto tiered platters and cake stands. Hollow out pumpkins for unique pie and bread baskets. Scatter mini desserts across the table family-style.